'Friends' Reunion: Matthew Perry recalls cast's 'no hookup' pact that Courteney Cox didn't remember
Ahead of the 'Friends' reunion special, Matthew Perry spilled about the main six cast members' no-dating rule that helped enforce the bond of friendship that has lasted over the years, even after the show ended. He was speaking during an interview on Tuesday, May 25.
To promote their upcoming two-hour reunion special, which is set to air on HBO Max on May 27, Thursday, the cast of 'Friends,' the cult sitcom, sat down for interviews with Access. The men and women were interviewed separately. When the three men, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer, were asked if things ever got romantic between any of the cast members on the show, they opened up about the show's strict "no hookup rule."
"There was a rule that we had, it was really important to the six of us, that we kept a friendship; that we were friends," Perry said before sharing how any potential romances could have presented a "strangeness" that "might mess with things." "So we kept a friendship, and we did become really good friends. And we are really good friends to this day. And we kept that going, and I think that was very important." He attributed this relationship policy to the famed television director Jim Burrows.
Schwimmer added, "We didn't want to jeopardize any of the great relationships and friendships we were forming and had established. It was kind of an unspoken [rule]." The relationship between the cast members was described as "more like siblings" by LeBlanc. This might have helped prevent any on-set awkwardness and the cast was able to live up to the show's famous theme song, 'I'll Be There For You,' during the show and also in the 17 years after the series wrapped. "We're all friends," LeBlanc said, while Perry added, "We enjoy each other's time."
However, in a separate interview with Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston, the women admitted they didn't remember having any kind of pact. "I think it's a smart idea but I don't remember actually talking about it," Cox remarked. They also cracked up thinking that their male co-stars were making up the rule to cover up for the fact none of them were ever interested in their castmates.
'Rule' did not apply to guest stars
Clearly, the no-dating policy was not extended to the guest stars of the show as Aniston was linked to and was confirmed to be dating a few of them. Aniston’s love life involves many of her well-known peers, including Paul Rudd and, of course, Brad Pitt.
She famously appeared in a Season 8 episode of 'Friends' with Pitt. In 2001, Aniston told Rolling Stone that the former pair first met in 1994. However, they only started dating in 1998. They got married in 2000 but divorced in 2005.
When told about fans anticipating a reunion between the two at the 2020 Golden Globes, Pitt stated, “I’ll run into Jen. She’s a good friend. Yeah.” They also reportedly managed to have a “quick interaction” at the Creative Artists Agency after-party, and Aniston reportedly “looked happy as they started to hug and say hello.”
Rumors of Aniston dating Paul Rudd emerged when she was playing Rachel Green in 'Friends' and Paul was seen playing Mike Hannigan, Phoebe Buffay’s boyfriend. While neither one of them accepted the rumors, they did mention in an interview that they kissed and ‘made out for decades’.
When asked if kissing each other on-screen was weird, Jennifer told GQ magazine, “Nah. I’ve kissed him for years.” Paul said, “We’ve made out for decades.” However, these answers might have been alluding to the films they had done together such as 'The Object of My Affection' and 'Wanderlust.'
Aniston's co-star Matthew Perry also had a series of high-profile relationships with guest stars on the show. He dated Julia Roberts from 1995 to 1996 after Roberts guest-starred in a 1994 episode of 'Friends'. After his public breakup with Roberts, Perry began dating Yasmine Bleeth, the 'Baywatch' actress that Perry's character Chandler was obsessed with.